NCAA denies Sioux nickname appeal
The University of North Dakota's final appeal to continue using its "Fighting Sioux" nickname was rejected today by the NCAA's executive committee. "We believe that the use of the Fighting Sioux and the mascots and the imagery that that represent...
The University of North Dakota's final appeal to continue using its "Fighting Sioux" nickname was rejected today by the NCAA's executive committee.
"We believe that the use of the Fighting Sioux and the mascots and the imagery that that represents are hostile and abusive," said Walter Harrison, committee chairman. "We don't believe the university has made a case to the contrary."
The 17-member committee extensively reviewed all of the materials submitted by the university and supplementary letters when reaching its decision, he said.
Harrison mentioned three letters the NCAA received in the past few days from UND President Charles Kupchella, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Judicial Committee Chairman Archie Fool Bear and Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Ron His Horse Is Thunder.
The committee found His Horse Is Thunder's letter, stating the tribe maintains its stance opposing the "Fighting Sioux" nickname, "very helpful in reaching this conclusion," Harrison said.
"We found that to be compelling," he said.
The primary purpose of the restrictions of American Indian mascots, nicknames and imagery is to provide an environment of respect for and sensitivity to the dignity of every person, Harrison said.
The NCAA policy does not mandate that a university discontinue the use of its mascots, nicknames or imagery on campus.
However, the university will only be invited to participate in NCAA championships if they elect to do so without American Indian references on their uniforms and associated athletic program activities. It also means these institutions will not be allowed to host NCAA championship events.
The university's other options would be to abandon the Sioux nickname or pursue litigation.
"We're going to consult with the state attorney general on what our options are,' UND President Charles Kupchella told Fargo's WDAY radio. "We might have to take some steps to consider some way to preserve the history and tradition and yet modify the name somehow."
Kupchella declined to go into detail, saying it is still early.
The NCAA also today denied appeals from the University of Illinois, Champaign and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The executive committee also removed Bradley University from the list of schools subject to restrictions and placed the institution on a five-year watch list.